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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  September 7, 2011 3:00am-4:00am EDT

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>> not going to see a magic unicorn jump out of that bag. >> the president is ready to fight for jobs, and americans want him to win. >> his disapproval number is 51%. he needs it to be lowest. >> lowest ever job rating. >> i'm going to propose ways to put jobs first. >> jobs first, jobs first, jobs first. >> we're going to see if congressional republicans put country before party. >> i'm going to propose ways to put jobs first. >> jobs first, jobs first, jobs first. >> we're going to see if congressional republicans put country before party. >> will the ones stopping the president from winning also losing? >> this one specifically looks, it appears to be doing nothing. >> only 13% have approved of the job congress is doing. >> more than four out of five americans don't like the united states congress. >> 54% would vote out every member of congress. >> lot of vitriol in congress,
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lot of vitriol at congress. >> and a funny thing happened to mitt romney on the way to the nomination, rick perry. >> he's trying to contrast himself with perry. >> the shining city on the hill. >> reagan, reagan, reagan. >> remember the screech it put in your ear? >> cut baby cut, drill baby drill. >> you want to make a phone call at the airport, you take out a quarter and go to a pay phone. >> this is a guy that's been running for president, essentially, for the last six years. >> didn't create very many jobs. >> rick perry has got a very powerful appeal to the red hot core of the republican base. >> the republican party is rallying around rick perry. >> no way rick perry can win a general election, no way. >> and sarah palin makes her big announcement to the tea party, announcing nothing. >> and unless and until fox drops her from her contract, i will not believe she's running for president. >> right on, better late than never.
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good evening from new york. with still 14 months left in the 2012 presidential campaign, a new nbc/"wall street journal" poll shows president obama with now the lowest approval rating of his presidency, 44% approve of the job the president is doing, 51% disapprove. though the president's approval rating is now the lowest of his presidency, it has not dropped significantly over his last 21 months in office, according to the nbc/"wall street journal" polling. the approval rating first dropped below 50% in december 2009. it was at 47%, within the margin of error of his approval rating this month. since then, the president's approval rating has dipped to 45% four times. despite the jobs crisis, a controversial health care bill, the deep water horizon disaster, midterm election republican
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gains, the debt ceiling fight, the s&p downgrade, ongoing wars in iraq and afghanistan, and relentless attacks from the republican presidential candidates, president obama's approval rating has actually been holding steady. with two days until the president's address on jobs and the economy to a joint session of congress, those polled scored the president poorly on his handling of the economy. -- disapproved, that is the highest of his presidency. respondents were asked to address whether the president is facing a short or long-term setback given events over the past couple of months. 32% say president obama is facing a short-term setback from which he will likely recover, and 54% say president obama is now facing a long-term setback from which he will not likely recover. that number is virtually
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identical to george w. bush's score just after his mishandled the hurricane katrina aftermath. white house press secretary jay carney addressed the president's poll numbers today. >> i think the american people, if you look at your poll and other polls, make abundantly clear that they have a high reservoir of skepticism towards washington in general, and i think that has been exacerbated dramatically by what they witnessed this summer, where the opportunity to do something sweeping and bold and bipartisan was squandered because there wasn't the political will to make it happen. and i think that is what you're seeing registered in your polls, where i think everyone associated with washington is being viewed quite dimly right now. >> congressional job approval poll numbers support jay carney's position.
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only 13% approve of the job the congress is doing, 13%, while 82% disapprove. that is the highest disapproval rating ever recorded. respondents were also asked if they could, would they, vote to defeat and replace every member of congress, including their own representative. 54% said yes, that is the highest ever for that hypothetical question. observing voters' record disapproval of washington, the republican pollster who conducted the poll wrote in a memo, "we are entering a new phase of the american political dialogue that has been irrevocably shifted in a way that will prove difficult to predict historically, though this type of deep voter anger, unease, and economic pessimism leads to unstable, unpredictable, political outcomes." joining me now from the reagan library, the site of tomorrow's
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republican presidential debate, msnbc analyst howard fineman, and from washington, author of "revival, the struggle for survival inside the obama white house," msnbc analyst richard wolffe, thank you both for joining me tonight. howard, with the debate tomorrow night, these presidential polling numbers coming out today will surely inform some of the lines of attack that the republican candidates will be using. what does the white house have to do now in dealing with these approval numbers that something real's happening here. >> i don't think there's any question about it, lawrence, and from having talked to democrats both in the obama camp and
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outside of it, i think it's clear that one thing the president has to do politically, aside from whatever he says in his jobs speech, is begin to make the case that the republicans are just not the alternative, that they are too scary an alternative, that they, in fact, represent what's wrong with life in washington, d.c. more than he does, and in the piece i published in the "the huffington post" today, having talked to a top obama advisor, he said the white house, not obama personally, but the white house is going to go after the republican congress for everything from the paul ryan plan to cut, cap, and balance, to the effort to roll back wall street reform, and they are going to say that the republican presidential candidates that we're going to watch on msnbc tomorrow night, are racing to embrace the tea party, and indeed, rick perry is very popular in the tea party, but the tea party is an anathema, toxic to independent voters. they are going to try to turn out the democratic base by painting a scary picture of the republicans in congress.
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>> richard wolfe, has the white house, has the president, in fact, already entered this new campaign-style rhetoric with him saying will the republicans put party over country, that is as harsh a comment he's made about republicans, i think, in his rhetorical history. >> yeah, i'd expect it to get a lot harsher, the competitive drive of this president has really kicked in at this point. he's sick of being pushed around himself. he's traditionally had this fourth quarter push, this clutch player move he's shown in the past, and while this isn't the fourth quarter, we're a long way, we're not voting in november, it's going to be next november, those instincts are kicking in. that's according to people that are very close to him, so we're seeing some of that tone out of the labor day speech that he gave, but there's also -- look back where he was at in 2007,
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these head-to-head numbers really don't mean a lot, those we're talking about in washington. at this point in 2007, he was losing to rudy giuliani in a nominal matchup, so the poll numbers will change, the economy will change in a year, no question the contest, the head-to-head debate, the fight between these two sides is going to get a lot uglier. >> we can't stress enough early polls like this, but that's not to say the candidates and campaigns ignore them. they certainly do take information from them and have real concerns. what's the good news and the bad news in this poll for the obama campaign. seems like the good side of it is the public still likes him as a person. >> yes, i think they do. some might question that number, 70% say they still like them. i don't question it. i think that people would like to, would have liked to have seen him succeed.
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that's that long-range problem is that you read earlier on, so i think that's a problem for him. the other silver lining for him, the other positive news for him, obviously, is in the dismal numbers of congress, half run by republicans and the republicans don't seem to have much traction at all. i will say this, this poll, however premature it is, will affect the atmosphere tomorrow night, because it will embolden the republicans to be harsher and tougher on the president than they otherwise would be. they'll go after him more tomorrow night than they otherwise would have. >> richard, as tough as the republicans want to go against the president tomorrow night, the poll indicates that 60%,
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60%, believe that we should have a higher top tax bracket. they agree with the president on the largest tax issue in front of us, that top tax bracket, and so they are going to be, in effect, as gleeful as they might be in attacking president obama tomorrow night. the truth of it is, the president represents on taxation anyway, close to 60% of voters. >> and majority view of poll after poll that says people actually blame the bush policies and the bush administration much more than this administration for their current economic condition. that doesn't say it's a way out for the president, but it does suggest if the democrats, if the white house can get its act together and portray this group of republican candidates as embracing the bush philosophy or the bush policies, even to a more extreme degree, then there's a root out of this mess that they are in, because these elections, as obama's aides keep
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pointing out, they are a choice, a choice between two candidates, and this will be much more narrowly fought than in 2008. remember, bush won with a 2% nomination, that was considered a big win in 2004. this is going to be a close race, much closer than 2008, but when you put the choices up, which choice do you want, the one you blame for the current economy or a different one, let's see how that plays out. >> republicans have announced they are not going to do a formal response to the president tomorrow night after his speech. they'll offer themselves informally to the media, but it looks like, then, the republican debate you'll attend in california will be, in effect, the response to the president's speech. in our poll, we do have a new lineup here in the republican campaign, rick perry and mitt romney clearly now have become the top two candidates. no one else is close.
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perry's hit the highest number of any republican so far this year at 38%. mitt romney trailing far behind that at 23%, then you get down to the single-digit crowd, ron paul, michele bachmann. this is, in effect, a two-man debate tomorrow night, hasn't it? >> yeah, i think that's right. and this is very important for rick perry, obviously. he's rocketed to the top in a very shrewd entrance into the campaign. turns out michele bachmann's high point was when she won the straw poll in iowa, it's been all downhill since, and this is going to be rick perry's moment wednesday night. he's back in texas now supervising, fighting the fires in texas, but he will be here wednesday night, and, you know, i've been reading his books, everybody's been reading his books and everything he's said
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and studying the entrails of the career of rick perry, but he'll be a case of first impression, and in an odd way it's going to be a pre-buttal where you'll see rick perry in the spotlight wednesday night, right now looking the most likely nominee, let's say, a year ahead of time, versus the president the following night, so people will get to see them back-to-back, and that will be very instructive and fundamental, because rick perry is a true believer in the politics of slow-motion secession, as i call it, in the denial of the importance of the role of the federal government even in social security, in medicare, in practically everything the federal government does. the president will have a chance to make the case for government on thursday, but he's got to make it in a way that results in people believing that immediate jobs will result. he's been unable to do that so
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far, that will once again be his challenge in a very difficult situation for the president, because nobody is really expecting anything to result from the speech on thursday night. >> msnbc political analyst howard fineman and richard wolffe, thank you both for joining me tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. >> thanks, lawrence. coming up, the republican candidates think they know how to create jobs. that's right, tax cuts followed by tax cuts. robert reich will analyze mitt romney's jobs plan coming up. and governor rick perry is 24 hours away from his first presidential campaign debate. i want healthy skin for life. [ female announcer ] improve the health of your skin with aveeno daily moisturizing lotion. the natural oatmeal formula improves skin's health in one day, with significant improvement in 2 weeks. i found a moisturizer for life. [ female announcer ] only from aveeno.
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coming up, hundreds of thousands of people are at risk of starving to death in the next few months if we don't find a way to do more to fight the famine in somalia, but the republican house of representatives actually wants to do less.
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they have voted to do less. that's in the rewrite. up next, texas republican governor rick perry, his first presidential campaign debate is tomorrow night on this network. we'll tell you what to expect next. [ male announcer ] indulge all you want. now there's no need to hold back. new revolutionary scope dualblast obliterates strong food odors leaving your breath minty fresh. hey. [ male announcer ] so there's no trace of evidence... new scope dualblast. dr. scholl's custom fit orthotic center recommends the custom-fit orthotic that's best
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for your tired feet. foot-care scientists are behind it. you'll get all-day relief. for your tired achy feet. for locations, see thank you... tomorrow night's republican presidential debate here on msnbc will feature the first-ever appearance on a national debate stage by texas
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governor rick perry, who now has a 15-point lead over mitt romney in the new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll, and he leads romney by nearly 30 points among tea party members. tomorrow will mark one of the few times perry has taken part in a debate anywhere. politico, which is partnering with nbc for tomorrow night's event, reports perry has only participated in four debates during his decade as governor, and in his reelection campaign last year, he would only debate fellow republicans, refusing to take on his democratic challenger. yesterday perry missed his first chance to share a stage with his rivals. after withdrawing from a candidate's forum in south carolina to return to texas where wildfires have destroyed more than 1,000 homes. >> i'll be real honest with you, i'm not paying any attention to politics right now. there's plenty of time to take
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care of that. people's lives and their possessions are in danger. that's substantially more important. >> perry made those comments yesterday. today, with the largest wildfire still burning out of control near austin and now being blamed for two deaths, perry's spokespeople said perry still plans to travel to california for tomorrow night's debate. joining me now, jim hightower, editor of "the hightower lowdown" and a former perry campaign opponent. thanks for joining me tonight, jim. >> great to be with you, lawrence, thanks. >> rick perry switched parties in 1990 at george w. bush's urging. he ran against you, ran against you for texas agriculture commissioner. he won that race. did he win it because of his great performance in your debate? >> well, we had no debate that i
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recall anyway, and, in fact, my opponent at that time, 1990, was really not rick perry, it was carl rove, who used his patented trash politics to come after me. perry was the product of the chemical lobbyists in the state legislature. he was a democrat at the time, and he carried legislation to take away the pesticide authority i had exercised as agriculture commissioner of tech. they did not succeed, so carl rove got perry to switch parties to run against me, but perry was inconsequential back in those days, he never campaigned statewide and didn't know anything about dallas or houston or south texas, so rove sent him out to west texas to go to farm bureau meetings while rove raised about $3 million and put them in trash ads. my real opponent was carl rove. >> what do we know about his debate style given his exposure. >> he's not particularly a nice
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guy, i don't think he's going to take well to a lot of this. but to me, i got to tell you, lawrence, the issue isn't whether or not he can debate or not, the issue is what kind of governor has he been, who might he be as president. good example today, he comes flitting back here to texas after being back on the campaign trail two days after the fires are bursting out all over the state. by the way, these fires are not an unanticipated consequence. in fact, perry's own state officials say that they were inevitable, inevitable not only because of the dry heat that we've been having, but also -- and the high winds -- but also because perry, with his republican super majority in the legislature, managed to slash the budget of the volunteer fire
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departments in our state by 75% in the last legislative session. we don't have firefighters, enough to come fight these fires. people's homes are burning down because of his failure to stand up not today, not to come in here and do photo ops, but months ago and, indeed, a couple of years ago to fund our firefighting capability to stand up for this. labor day on monday, and yet the firefighters, they were recruiting retired firefighters to come out of retirement, pay their own way, buy their own supplies to come in here and try to fight these fires because perry and his anti-government, right wing, fairyland zealotry had slashed the budget of the majority of the firefighting forces in our state, which are the volunteer fire departments. >> my debt the most trouble for rick perry tomorrow night is fellow texan ron paul, who has
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nothing to lose. ron paul knows he's not going to be anyone's vice presidential choice. ron paul's going to be able to say back when i was supporting reagan, perry was working on al gore's first presidential campaign. he's got those kinds of shots that i think he's ready to take. >> i think the main shots that we could take at perry, and ron paul or whoever, is he has been a complete corporate toady as governor of our state. i don't think this is anything that the tea party wants, a governor who takes corporate cash in exchange for doing corporate favors. this guy has put the goober in gubernatorial. he has weakened our state. we're down at the level in mississippi, and the important differences, mississippi is a poverty-stricken state. we're not.
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we're an extraordinarily rich state, and rick perry stands for the rich. george w. bush, at least he campaigned as a conservative. rick perry, yee-haw, we take money and spend it at the expense of the middle class and poor folks. get used to it. i have to tell you, that's no idol threat. >> jim hightower, thank you for your unique perspective on rick perry tonight. thank you very much, jim. >> thank you, lawrence. coming up, as i said before, sarah palin is not running for president, and she still isn't running for president after her trips to iowa and new hampshire this weekend. and willard m. romney makes a promise in his jobs speech to file five bills on his first day in office, to actually make them law on his first day in office. a complete impossibility. robert reich joins me with everything romney got wrong.
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that's next.
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still to come in this hour, we have led the world in aid to those desperately in need, and now the republicans in the house want to make sure that we don't lead that way any longer. they don't want the usa to be number one in that category. that's in the rewrite.
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and mitt romney wants you to buy into the lie that all it takes to fix everything that's wrong with america's economy is a lower corporate tax rate. that's next. [ male announcer ] for sore muscles use new bengay cold therapy. it's pro-cool technology releases armies of snowmen masseuse, who cuddle up with your soreness and give out polar bear hugs. technology. [ male announcer ] new bengay cold therapy. the same technology used by physical therapists. go to for a 5-dollar coupon.
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in the spotlight tonight, willard m. romney unveils his jobs plan. he did it in northwest las vegas, nevada, where the unemployment rate is 13%, the highest of any state in the country. in his speech, romney never once mentioned nevada's troubled economy, its extraordinarily high unemployment, what caused that, or how romney's jobs and growth plan would be of particular help to that state. instead, he offered science fiction imaginings of a job machine. >> our people should be the best people, best-paid people in the world.
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it should be good to be in the middle class in america. america should be a job machine, jobs being created all the time, people looking for employees to join their enterprises, young people coming out of college able to get jobs right away, people coming out of vocational schools getting jobs right away, even those coming out of high school, knowing there's opportunities for them. we should have a job-creating machine in america. >> and here's what romney dreams the american economy would look like if his magical jobs machine actually looked. >> in the first four years, if i'm lucky enough to be president, in the first four years, this would grow the economy at approximately 4% per year for each of those four years. it will add 11 and a half million jobs for americans. >> here's romney's absolute favorite, number one idea for creating jobs. >> the average for developing nations is 25%, ours is 35%. i will do that on day one.
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>> that is, of course, a lie. and romney has probably paid just enough attention to the federal government to know that it is impossible to do that on day one or any other day. tax rates, as president obama and his predecessors have discovered, are completely under the control of congress. on day one, if the country makes the mistake of electing him president, romney will make a big, forgettable speech, have a good lunch, watch a long parade, and then go dancing. he will not be signing a tax bill into law on day one. he will be allowed on day one to find the chairman of the house ways and means committee and the senate finance committee at the inaugural festivities and beg them, beg them to consider his tax proposals, knowing that they will consider them only if those tax proposals meet the self-interest and the political interest of the chairman. romney's other job-creating ideas are, of course, more tax cuts.
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>> we got to change that. they call it change to a territorial system. we got to end this repatriation tax and get money to come back to america to create jobs here and invest in america. i will eliminate any tax on your savings if you're in the middle class. no tax on interest, dividends, or capital gains. >> joining me now is robert reich, he is now a professor of public policy at the university of california at berkeley and the author of "after shock." professor, i know you are well-versed in popular culture and in the arts, and so introducing to you analysis of a
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jobs machine is something, i think, you can actually -- you're uniquely empowered to address. are there people in the basement of the labor department working on a jobs machine? >> if there are, lawrence, i never saw them. in fact, it's kind of an odd idea. a jobs machine, it's like calling corporations people. it's not clear what these things are. mitt romney has the kind of odd idea, and it is a bizarre idea, that at a time when corporations are scoring record profits, at a time when you've got them sitting on $2 trillion of cash they don't even know what to do with, that somehow if you give them more tax cuts and deregulate so you reduce their costs even further, they will then create jobs. they don't create jobs now, he assumes, because their costs are too high. the reality is the opposite, corporations are doing well in part because they are selling abroad and because they are pairing u.s. payrolls and cutting wages. that is not a jobs machine.
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>> one piece of his jobs machine that he's dreaming about is this so-called repatriation. >> romney is saying if you can get corporations to repatriate their earnings and not showing them any taxes on those repatriate, but the fact of the matter is, the fastest-growing markets in the world are outside the united states. companies are there because that's where the customers are. also, as i said, they don't need more money. companies are doing very well. the people who need more money in their pockets are not corporations, they are people, they are americans. the reason big corporations are not creating more jobs in the united states is they don't have enough customers in the united states because american
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the reason big corporations are not creating more jobs in the united states is they don't have enough customers in the united states because american consumers are also workers, and they are scared to death, they are losing their jobs, their wages are going down. romney and other republicans refuse to acknowledge that the real problem is consumers, workers, average-working people, are being ignored by corporate america. >> and there's so much that's wrong with this idea, the idea these companies have made huge profits overseas, and they are holding them overseas because they are afraid of u.s. taxation, so let's just allow them just this once to bring that money back in and we won't tax it away from them. the problem is, we already did it. we did it in 2004, now what we're doing again is to hide that money, keep it overseas until we completely eliminate the tax on it once again so you can bring it back once again. they would never bring the money back to the united states if we allowed them to do it this time.
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>> lawrence, the interesting thing is no matter how many so-called tax amnesties there are, republicans and romney is an example, keep on saying if you have another tax amnesty, that will be the last one. well, you see how counter this runs to republican's philosophy with regards to the rest of us, real people, no amnesty, no breaks, if you give welfare or a break or helping hand to anybody, they will take it and they won't work. they will be irresponsible, somehow corporations, though, if you give them special bailouts or tax breaks or give them amnesty, they will be responsible. >> what would you like to see the president advocate this week in his speech? >> well, the thing to look for, lawrence, is something that is bold enough and big enough to deal with the size of the problem we have, to supplement the fact that consumers and
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businesses are not spending in the united states. it's got to have, i would say probably this year, about $500 trillion worth of spending on infrastructure, roads, bridges, all kinds of things that we need that are desperately underfunded right now in terms of deferred maintenance. we should also have a w.p.a., civilian conservation corps for the unemployed, we need to do something for home owners, a quarter of all home owners are underwater. we need to have a kind of process where by the fha or government overall, can take a share of the mortgages and take the debt off the hands off a lot of people and get the share of the upside gains in terms of an equity share in mortgages. >> robert reich, thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. over the weekend, sarah palin gave speeches in iowa and new hampshire, but again she did not say whether she's running
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for president. that's because she's not. that's coming up. [ male announcer ] you never know when a moment might turn into something more. and when it does men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready with cialis for daily use. cialis for daily use is a clinically proven low-dose tablet you take every day, so you can be ready anytime the moment's right. ♪ [ man ] tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. don't take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. [ man ] do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than 4 hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, stop taking cialis and call your doctor right away.
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yesterday the united nations recorded that 750,000 people are at risk of starving to death in the next few months because of the famine in the horn of africa. tomorrow, the senate appropriations committee will vote on a bill that would drastically cut the emergency food assistance that has made us the leader in food aid to somalia. that's next in the rewrite. and later, no matter how much sarah palin doesn't run for president, some people continue to be tricked into thinking that she will. that's coming up.
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time for tonight's rewrite. at this hour, most, if not all, of the well-fed children in our eastern time zone have had dinner. many of them feeling quite stuffed by that extra scoop of ice cream that they didn't need for dessert. there is a virtually invisible segment of poor children in this country who will go to bed hungry tonight, having through no fault of their own, fallen through the holes in our social safety net. our culture likes to pretend they are not there. we rarely send news cameras to find them, but cameras aren't the answer to hunger.
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there are enough news cameras in somalia now to show us exactly what's happening there. the united nations made the painful announcement yesterday that famine has spread to yet another area in the country. u.n. officials now believe that 750,000 people could die in the next few months if we don't increase our aid efforts there. and by "we," i mean the well-fed parts of the world, the countries leading the way on famine relief in the horn of africa are the united states, which has contributed more than any other country this year, brazil, which has far more-pressing domestic poverty issues to deal with than we do, saudi arabia and australia, but instead of taking pride in what we've done and trying to do more, we, by which i mean the republican house of representatives, want to do less.
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in june, house republicans voted to re-write the emergency food assistance programs, not by increasing them as the famine worsened in somalia, but to cut food assistance, cut it, by 75%. rick leach, the president of world food program usa said today, "these life-saving food assistance programs face their most profound threat ever." tomorrow the senate appropriations committee will vote on its version of the bill. you can go to our website, to see the list of the members of the senate appropriations committee. if you live in one of their states, you should, right now tonight, contact them, e-mail them, tell them how you want them to vote on emergency food assistance. we can only hope tomorrow when the roll is called and the appropriations committee that the republicans on the committee who curry favor with the
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christian right will ask themselves before voting, what would jesus do? matthew, chapter 25 answers that question. "then shall the kings say unto them on his right hand, come, you blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for i was hungry and you gave me food to eat. i was thirsty, and you gave me water to drink. i was a stranger, and you took me in, naked and you clothed me. i was sick and you visited me, i was in prison and you came unto me. then shall the righteous answer him saying lord, when did we see you hungry and fed you or thirsty and gave you drink and when did we see you a stranger and took you in or naked and clothe you and when did we see
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palin bulletin, sarah palin is still not running for president because, as viewers of this program know, she will never again run for public office. she is far too busy running for billionaire. sarah palin faked out a lot of people once again this weekend when she went to iowa to make what many believed was a major announcement, the announcement they have long been waiting for. my insistence here on this
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program that she will never run for public office has irritated more than one republican. friend of the show jeff jurgenson of iowa e-mailed one of our producers, ethan harp, this note two weeks ago in anticipation of palin's speech in iowa this weekend. >> hi, ethan, as you know, governor palin will be making a major announcement in iowa on september 3, if she announces a run for white house, i expect a on-air apology from your boss. after all, it would only be right for your boss to publicly admit he was wrong." okay, first of all, jeff, i'm nobody's boss. i know i dress like one on tv, but i'm just one of the people who works on this show. i'm the front man for everyone else who does the real work on this show.
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i have no power to hire and fire anyone. that's what a boss is. and then secondly, i'll apologize as soon as i'm wrong about sarah palin running for president, and, of course, as we now know, sarah palin went to iowa saturday and announced absolutely nothing. she did the same thing yesterday in new hampshire. joining me now to discuss what sarah palin is really up to, the man who can read sarah palin's mind, eugene robinson. eugene, she keeps playing this game and playing it well enough to fool, i don't know, the critical number that allows "the new york times" today to say "ms. palin did not say whether she would run." come on. gene, help me here. >> lawrence, i'm with you. i've been with you. she's not running for anything. she's not running for office.
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she doesn't like holding office, she held office, remember, she was governor of alaska. she quit, it was too much of a hassle. she's not running for president, yet she continues this -- this, you know, dangling the possibility and there's always a gullible few, i think, who are willing to believe, who kind of buy into the fantasy that palin, palin for president. i don't see it now, i never see it. >> gene, roger ailes has helped us greatly with this, he instituted the policy at fox news that if you're thinking about running for president, even before declaring, you have to get off my payroll. she and mike huckabee stayed on the payroll. therefore, telling all of us, we're not running. >> that's exactly right, because if you even -- if the thought had even crossed your mind that you might end up being a candidate, would you do that to roger ailes if you're a republican, would you alienate roger ailes by keeping that a
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secret from him and embarrassing him? i wouldn't, and i don't think any of them would. huckabee didn't and she didn't. she's not running for president. >> she's making very easy money from roger ailes, which she would continue to make after she lost in the republican primaries, if she was ever silly enough to get in them, which she isn't. >> right. look, there are already two actual candidates with actual campaigns who are out there scarfing up her potential voters, and her constituency, rick perry and michele bachmann. she has no campaign machinery, she does not have the discipline and the single mindedness one needs to be a candidate in the first place, so it just -- you know, as you said, it ain't happening, yet we continue to talk about it because she continues to act as if it, well, it might.
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might be in iowa, maybe she'll go to new hampshire next, maybe it will be there. it's not going to be. >> it's fascinating to watch this tease go on as long as it has and watch people continue to fall for it. >> it is, it is fascinating, you know, she is so successful at kind of keeping here's in the limelight and, you know, she's not running to -- i guess she's running to be king maker or she's running to be billionaire, as you said earlier. >> eugene robinson, thank you for joining us, and you're joining us tomorrow in studio for the debate coverage. >> five more minutes she still hasn't announced for president. >> there you go, you can have the last word on our blog online, follow my tweets @lawrence. up next, "the rachel maddow show."


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